Written by DEBRA PRINZING
Photographed by DAVID PAPAZIAN
Download the article in PDF format
Interior designer Jennifer Leonard gives her Portland clients an island-inspired splash of color and texture.
Jennifer Leonard, principal of Portland-based Nifelle Design Fine Interiors, first helped some of her long-time clients refurbish and decorate their large Colonial-style home, and then, a condominium on Portland’s riverfront. So when they next found a two-bedroom condo in Wailua Bay, Kauai, the couple asked Leonard to bring her creativity to the tropics.
“Jennifer’s assignment at Lae Nani was to bring the Hawaiian and beach atmosphere into our home,” says her client, a mother of four young adults who with her husband, a retired CFO, escapes from the Pacific Northwest to the sun-loving island of Kauai for two to three months each year.
The unit’s selling points: Its lush setting and ocean views from two lanais. Missing though, were interiors worthy of the beautiful setting. Pastel walls, pale blue carpeting, and upholstery in a lavender-pink-green pattern lacked pizzazz and needed updating, Leonard says.
She warmed things up with new sand-hued carpeting and buttery walls. Island-friendly rattan furniture, which the homeowners had previously purchased, was ideal for the space, but existing cotton cushions and pillows were less than durable. “We knew the upholstery wouldn’t wear well,” Leonard admits. “Kauai is a relatively wet island, with a lot of moisture in the air, not to mention people wearing wet bathing suits when they come inside. So we chose an indoor–outdoor print with tropical leaves and owners.”
New solid tangerine and melon-and-celadon-striped accent pillows complement the leafy palm prints that upholster the cinnamon-hued rattan sofa, side chairs, and ottoman. The designer selected a woven Sunbrella fabric with anti-mildew properties for the window coverings. “We didn’t have to line this sturdy fabric and we’ve not had a dot of mildew appear,” the homeowner says. She is pleased with the low-maintenance solution.
The bedrooms also feature rattan. Twin beds accommodate visiting children or grandchildren in the guest bedroom, which takes its orange-red-yellow color palette from a piece of artwork that the homeowners brought to Kauai from their Portland collection. A white coral lamp and botanical pillows reflect a sense of place.
The master bedroom has a soothing, ocean-inspired palette of celadon and pale aquamarine. A pair of lamps is embellished with rosettes of clamshells, a detail repeated in a quartet of shell mosaics displayed on either side of a mirror. The white-on-white textures play well with the feather-patterned draperies, also made from indoor–outdoor textiles.
The owners love Lae Nani even more, now that Leonard “has performed her magic,” the wife says. Adds the designer: “The overall feeling we wanted was warm and lovely, and we achieved this by mimicking the ocean and palm trees right outside and using art and materials with